Consumers Know Emojis Better than Road Signs

Emojis and road signs have a few things in common. Both relay information instantaneously, are used almost daily and are widely recognized by the public … or are they? A recent survey conducted by  Mercury Insurance revealed that respondents didn’t recognize road signs – important guidelines for safely operating a vehicle on highly-trafficked roadways – as readily as they did emojis.

“Road signs instantly communicate to drivers what actions to take, much like emojis instantly communicate what friends or family members might be trying to say in a text. It’s okay to only somewhat understand an emoji, but it’s imperative to know exactly what a road sign is telling you. Not knowing could lead to disastrous results on the road where no one can afford a misunderstanding.” – Kevin Quinn, Mercury Insurance’s vice president of claims and customer experience.

Mercury surveyed nearly 2,000 respondents to gauge their familiarity with both common road signs and popular emojis. The “yawning” emoji was correctly identified by 85% of the respondents, but only 31% of respondents knew what the “lane reduction” road sign meant, Additionally, the “in love” emoji was correctly identified by 71% of the quiz-takers, while the “keep right” road sign was only correctly identified by 51% of quiz-takers. Only 2% of respondents received a perfect score on the 12-question quiz.

Distracted driving – anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the road, including texting and talking on a phone – accounted for 3,166 fatalities in 2017, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“Most, if not all, collisions are avoidable if drivers focus on their main task of safely operating a vehicle. Being an attentive driver who knows the rules of the road and safely gets where they’re going might earn you a smiley face from your auto insurance company, just don’t read it while you’re driving,” said Quinn.